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Indian Hindu Pilgrims Cancel their Visit to Katas Raj Temple in Pakistan over ‘Rising Tension’ between Two Nations

The recent political feud between India and Pakistan threatens the Hindu pilgrimage in Pakistan

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A Hindu custom (representational Image) Pixabay

Islamabad, Nov 26, 2016: Amid rising tensions between Pakistan and India, Indian Hindu pilgrims have cancelled their visit to the revered Katas Raj temple in Pakistan, officials said.

As many as 200 Hindu pilgrims from different parts of India were scheduled to visit the Katas Raj temple complex – one of the holiest Hindu sites in Pakistan – on November 28. Pilgrims were supposed to perform religious rituals during the three-day visit.

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“Their scheduled visit has been cancelled,” Siddiqueul Farooq, chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and District Administration of Chakwal, confirmed to Dawn. The ETPB had made comprehensive security arrangements for the Indian pilgrims, he added.

Farooq cited the border tension as the reason behind the postponement of the visit. “We had issued visas to the pilgrims but their government did not allow them to visit Pakistan,” Dawn quoted him as saying.

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To a question regarding Sikh pilgrims from India, Khalid Ali, additional secretary (Shrines) of the ETPB, told Dawn that Pakistan had issued 3,319 visas to Sikh pilgrims but only 2,008 visited Panja Sahib recently. He said the Hindu pilgrims would visit Katas Raj in February for the Shivratri festival.

Hindu pilgrims visit Katas Raj twice a year. The first visit is made in February while the second in November. (IANS)

Next Story

Pilgrims Break 4 Year Record of Amarnath Yatra

Officials said since July 1 when the pilgrimage started, a total of 2,05,083 pilgrims have paid obeisance to the ice stalagmite structure

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amarnath yatra
This yatra will conclude on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival. Wikimedia Commons

With over two lakh pilgrims performing the Amarnath Yatra in the past 16 days, officials said it was the highest number to visit the Himalayan cave shrine during the first forthright in the last four years.

On Wednesday, another batch of 4,584 devotees left Jammu for the valley. Officials said since July 1 when the pilgrimage started, a total of 2,05,083 pilgrims have paid obeisance to the ice stalagmite structure said to have the mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

amarnath yatra
On Wednesday, 1,972 yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for Baltal while 2,612 for Pahalgam base camp. Wikimedia Commons

“This is the highest number of pilgrims to visit the Cave shrine during the first forthright in the last four years,” an Amarnath Yatra official said. On Wednesday, 1,972 yatris left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas for Baltal while 2,612 for Pahalgam base camp.

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So far, 16 pilgrims have died during the Yatra due to natural causes, according to the officials of the SASB. Situated 3,888 metres above the sea-level in Kashmir Himalayas, the ice structure waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon. This yatra will conclude on August 15 coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival. (IANS)

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